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1. I went sleep walking one night when I was ten years old. Unlocked the front door and went for a stroll through the neighborhood. I woke up a few hours later in the middle of the street, barefooted, in a cul de sac I've never been in before. Scared the bejeezus out of me.
Ended up running through the streets until I found my way back home. My parents had been s**tting bricks looking all over for me. They put a lock on my door after that so I couldn't go for anymore midnight strolls.
2. So, back when I was in Boy Scouts, my troop lost me. Twice. In the same night. While I was still in my tent. This is not an exaggeration.
The story is thus: we were at Camp Decorah, in Iowa. We had the idea to go and perform a raid on the counselor's tents/cabins. I, however, was feeling ill, so I specifically said "I'm not feeling well, I'm going to sleep." They acknowledged this, expressed regret that I was not coming along, and went to have their fun.
They have their fun. They retreat into the woodline. Then they take a headcount. I am not in the headcount. They expect me to be in the headcount, because they forgot. So, now, there is a missing camper. The entire camp is set to searching for me. Some time during this, a guy from my troop decides to, get this, check the tents. I am in my tent, as I should be. So he goes to report that I am found. I go to the bathroom during this time. Someone comes back to the camp, and checks my tent. I am in the bathroom, so I am not in my tent. I am now missing again.
I get found sooner this time.
3. When I was 4 I got lost in a city and was rescued by what my dad thought was a gang. We had dinner in Chinatown with another family. 5 kids in all. Crossing the street after dinner, we were holding hands in a big chain. My older sibling let go. When the light changed and everyone crossed I stayed on the sidewalk - I was looking through a window into a barber shop where some huge guy was having his head shaved - can still picture the scene. When I finally looked around everyone was gone. I started to cry. A group of teenagers approached and asked if I was lost. I said yes. A tall kid hoisted me into his shoulders and started down the block. Other kids split up and went in different directions. We rounded a corner and I saw my dad. He turned white and ran toward us. The kid lowered me to the ground. A few other kids were there. They stood around awkwardly while the tall kid explained what happened to my dad. My dad (not a demonstrative guy) flung himself at the kid and hugged him. My mom appeared and picked me up. Years later my dad told me he saw the same group of kids hanging around when he first parked in the city that evening and was suspicious that they were a gang. He was embarrassed and tried to be less judgmental after that. Wish I could thank those guys. This was a long time ago.
4. When I was a young lad, my brother and I used to go to this gymnastics play area. They had trampolines, those bars you swing around, and a tightrope over a pit full of pieces of foam. My brother and I decided to play hide and seek, I hid first.
About an hour later, the place is closing. My mum asks my brother where I am, he says we're playing hide and seek and I've hidden really well.
Three hours later, the staff have locked all of the doors and phoned the police, my mum was in a blind panic, my brother had given up on finding me and was bouncing on a trampoline, the staff were frantically tearing the place apart looking for me.
My brother got bored of trampolining so decided to play in the foam pit. He jumped in and heard a loud "OUCH". I climbed out of the foam and said "did I win?"
We never went back to that place.
5. When I was a 1 or 2, my parents were hosting an annual party in the back yard for the Independence Day. It was warm and lots of family were there so why not have a small child out? Well while nobody was looking I made my way into the woods behind the house (around 50 acres of land at the time). I was gone for around an hour and at some point my parents noticed and began searching (even called the police). Well eventually I come out of the woods dangling by my clothes from our dogs mouth. My parents liked that dog :)
TL;DR infant goes into woods, parents freak out, dogs saves the day
6. My high school (American) football team had an away game in a somewhat sketchy city, bus took the team back to high school afterwards. I was too young to drive and I was grounded and had my phone taken away. I waited at the school for an hour and a half but my parents never came to pick me up. So I started the 4-mile walk back to my house carrying all my pads and school books.
While I was walking back my mom showed up and I wasn't there. She panicked and found the coach and told him. My coach sent a group text to the entire team asking if anyone knew where I was. Came to school the next day and everyone thought I had missed the bus and gotten lost. It ended up being a team joke for the rest of the year.
Bonus: My parents never took my phone away again
7. I was about 6 years old, one day I was playing outside. There's a petting zoo about 4 km away from where we lived and I guess I decided to go there. So I did, by myself, barefooted, in my pyjamas. When I got there the manager found out I was alone and had reached my parents by phone. I don't actually remember much of it but it's pretty hilarious.
8. When I was four I disappeared for several hours. My parents freaked out, went door to door asking the neighbors if they saw me. They ended up calling the police. I had thrown a temper tantrum before my disappearance and went to my room. I ended up falling asleep squeezed on the ground between my bed and the wall with pillows pulled over top of me. Had a stern talking to by the police officer. Parents were a little upset. Not my fault I'm a champion at hide and seek.
9. Once when my grandfather was watching my younger sister and I, I decided to take a shower and didn't think to tell anyone. I took my leisurely shower, and when I came out no one was in the house. I went outside to see if maybe they were out there (it was summer, so reasonable to spend the evening in the yard). It turned out, my grandfather and sister had alerted the neighbors that I had gone missing, and the entire neighborhood was out looking for me. It wasn't even that long of a shower.
10. A few years ago, I was depressed and not really very social to begin with. At some point, my boyfriend at the time broke up with me and I just snapped. I booked a train ticket to him (around 10 h ride) and just left the next morning. Also basically stopped going to work at the same time, from one day to the next. I told no one about the trip and stayed away for about 10 days. When I came back, I had a not from the police on my door about being registered as a missing person. I lived in a student house, so at least everyone on my floor must have seen that note.
Turn out my friends had filed a missing person report because I guess work had contacted them. I was angry at the time, because I felt like s**t and thought nobody cared about me anyway and shouldn't interfere with my life (ironically, they had just shown that they did, indeed, care). Now I'm grateful that they did it.
11. When I was 16 I stole $5,000 and ran away to New Orleans. Before Katrina when it was still fun. I'm old. Good times were had.
12. I had a 12-day period of dis-associative amnesia while I was in the USAF. I was doing laundry one Sunday night while waiting to start extra cleaning duty, I woke up 12 days later to my supervisor shaking me awake in my dorm room. No one saw me for those 12 days, no one heard from me. I was not a recluse, I was extremely outgoing and easily noticed. How I vanished for 12 days is amazing.
**editing this to not have to reply to everyone: I was considered AWOL, got an Article 15 out of it. Was medically separated with a $25,000 severance and told by the USAF Psychiatrist that I was "useless to the USAF". I couldn't explain it, and through every pill I was prescribed and some therapy, they couldn't unlock my brain. It's said that it does not happen to people who are in their older 20's, but it did. It happened the once. My brain scan showed that "the hole every one has, is larger in yours" kind of thing. I never looked into it, as I really don't want to know if I went to France and killed people as a transvestite, or just f***ed off for 2 weeks.
I had no reason to desert. I was in for over 6 years at that point. I'd been to PSAB (Saudi), South Korea, France, Spain, and was in Germany at the time. I f**king loved my time enlisted and would do it again.